Soft-Tissue Injuries And Delayed Reactions: What You Should Know

You were in a minor fender-bender and everyone seemed okay. Just to be sure, you had an X-ray and it didn't show any injuries. However, it's two days later and now you have a pounding headache and a sore neck. Should you be concerned? Could the way that you feel possibly be related to your accident or is it coincidence? Is everyone going to think that you're faking an injury now to get some kind of payout from the insurance company? This is what you should know.

Delayed Reactions Are Common.

You aren't imagining your symptoms and you shouldn't worry that anyone will think that you're faking it. Your reactions are actually surprisingly normal -- including the delayed pain.

When you're in an accident, your body and brain go into defensive mode and you start to produce endorphins that help you deal with the trauma. Endorphins can mask pain and stress and create a temporary "high" that's similar to what people on morphine or cocaine feel. Is it any wonder, then, that you didn't realize you were hurt until after those endorphins slowly faded away?

Soft-Tissue Injuries Show Up Slowly And Heal Slower.

It can take 24 to 48 hours for a soft-tissue injury to show and they often don't show on regular testing devices, like X-rays and MRIs. Worse, they can take a long time to heal. Most soft-tissue injuries take a minimum of six weeks to just properly get through the "repair phase," when your body lays down new tissue and the new tissue starts to mature. After that, there can be an extended period of time where you have to rebuild the strength in those areas. In some cases, the new scar tissue can lead to long-term complications.

In the meantime, you can be left with a variety of aggravating and painful symptoms:

  • muscle spasms
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • neck pain and stiffness
  • tingling in your hands and arms
  • irritability
  • blurred vision

You may also find that you have injuries to your lower body that were overlooked right after the crash. Bruises may not show up until the swelling goes down and you could end up experiencing painful hips, wrists, knees, and ankles from the impact of your body against everything from the steering wheel to the dashboard.

It's also not unusual to end up with serious injuries to your chest and shoulders, especially if you were wearing your seatbelt. Since seatbelts come across only one shoulder and snap into place on impact, the unrestrained shoulder and your neck can whip forward. This can trigger soft-tissue damage in your neck and hit myofascial trigger points in your abdomen and chest that cause stiffness and pain.

Getting Compensation For Delayed Reactions Is Possible.

Just because the injury didn't show up on the x-ray taken right after the accident and you didn't think you were hurt at the time, you aren't barred from pursuing reasonable compensation for your injuries if they show up later. That's why states allow a year or longer for you to file your claim. The law recognizes the fact that some injuries take a while to develop.

One way to prove that your injury was related to the accident is to show that you weren't suffering from the condition prior to the event. When there's no other probable cause for your pain, that's a good indication that it's a result of the accident. Consult with a personal injury attorney, such as Stapleton Law Offices, today to discuss your case.